I really do not know much about Mother. My siblings have asked her numerous times to write her story. If she can’t write maybe, she can record her memoir. They gave her a recorder. Thinking that she might do it, I have these thoughts of grandeur that it would be better than the ‘Seven Storey Mountain’ written by Thomas Merton. Hers will be the ‘Towering Thirteen Storey Mountains’ based on her thirteen children.
I found the recorder in the storage area gathering dust with an empty cassette when I was cleaning Mother’s house. Her story is forever buried with her when she died, and I will never know. I wonder what kind of life she led.
In one of many retreats I attended, the voice of Fr. Jim came resonating: ‘Live your life for the benefit of others.’ I stayed with this voice and reflected upon it. For years, I ponder upon this line sinking into the cesspool of my soul not knowing that in the quagmire a lotus flower will bloom in this murky pond.
And I thought:
We are born into this life thinking that the world owes us
everything. We enter into a relationship with the hope that
our wants and needs are given to us in a silver platter
when, in fact, we are here so that others will live and
benefit from us.
This is Mother. She bloomed. It is the best description of Mother’s life amidst all the drama that she endured. However dramatic and poor her life was, we found what made her tick, a piece of paper tucked in between her paperwork, a short note in her own handwriting, This is the legacy of a selfless person.
In praise of Mother, I asked my siblings to tell me a sentence or two to celebrate her life.
• She adopted Romelly & me as part of her big family. She always treated us as one of her children.
• She shared her seamstress and sewing skills with me – I made an apron with her!
• Patience and compassion are virtues which I inherited from Mother.
• Mother is a Saint.
• Mother was a great mentor.
• Mother was my inspiration.
• Mother was my Guardian Angel.
• God bless Granny for migrating to Canada with a crazy family.
• I remember her telling us to be financially independent of our husband.
• Have your own saving account; your husband doesn’t need to know about it.
• Study well because education is your way out of the “gutter.”
• I admired Mother for helping out the poor ones; giving shelter, food and money even we didn’t have enough.
• It’s nice to know that all her siblings really respected Mother and honor her. They all have good things to say about her.
• Mother’s last words to me: “Go home, everything will be all right.” Come to think of it how true those words are! I think what she meant by that is: “Not to worry too much about the future because GOD is in control.”
I could go on and on and on…
It was fifteen years ago Mother died. For as long as we remember her, she is not really dead. Her spirit lives on, stronger than ever continuously providing us love and guidance when we need it the most.